A week until the event and I'm running my little socks off! I've written up numerous releases this week including one on local performers, exhibitions, gigs listing AND the THIS IS NOT ART LAUNCH!!!!, and sent them out. I've found the best way to actually guarantee (or as much as you can) getting some media coverage is to do personalised emails with the releases attached. So instead of just blindly shooting off releases, I've spent some time finding out who are the people I want to be targeting. For example, with looking at the exhibitions, I pitched personally to Jill Stowell from the Newcastle Herald. I schmoozed her and made her feel special; another trait I'm beginning to learn is very useful. This way, it shows an interest from my side and also that I have taken the time to understand who Jill is and why she is important to This Is Not Art. Likewise with the local performers releases; I've rang Tahnee at The Post and I know now that we are going to get some coverage in that. As a journalist I have always been so skeptical of on block media releases because I thought they never really showed a journalist you wanted their individual attention and wanted them to write about the issue at hand. This is fine if you have a multitude of media to choose from, but Newcastle is small and we have very little media to choose from. So when I found myself falling into that trap from a PR side at TINA, I knew they wouldn't be working as effectively as they could be.
The rest of my TINA time (and time that seems to be dedicated to TINA…..argh!) is spent with answering media inquires and attending to all their needs. It's sort of like we're at their mercy – so much depends on the positive coverage we get - not only getting crowds, but showing the positive coverage as encouragement of the event so we can get funding/grants/sponsorship/in kind material, next year. As well as this, I'm trying to figure out how to pitch this to University students. I'm going to do up a 'student's guide' type thing, with a list of events which would be really useful for students. It's just a matter of actually getting around to that – I will do that tonight.
Everything is going well. We all seem to have our heads screwed on…..if only just. Marni and I took half an hour to have a cup of tea the other day and I think it relaxed us both. I'm really having fun at TINA and feel like I am part of the event and dare I say it, the event is part of me. I guess we just have to keep plugging along!